Voluntary Contraction of Tensor Tympani — Bad Idea?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Coyotesheaven, Nov 2, 2016.

?

Can You Voluntarily Contract Your Tensor Tympani Muscles (i.e. Squeeze Your Ears)?

  1. Yes

  2. In some circumstances (yawning or really loud noise)

  3. No, I can't and don't feel anything in my ear that I can control

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    1. Coyotesheaven
      Depressed

      Coyotesheaven Member

      Location:
      Utah
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/18/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma, Dysautonomia/Vascular
      So I have figured out that I have this ability to voluntarily manipulate my tensor tympanis. I can 'squeeze' both of my ears (similar to squeezing your eyes shut) to block loud noises if needed. Doing so produces a rumbling sound in my ear and does dampen my hearing to loud sounds. I've heard this isn't too common of an ability, although I thought everyone could do it.

      The problem with doing this is that I force a lot of excess tension into my ears, bad enough that it seems to set off really loud T along with a bit of hearing loss in the high and low frequencies, even a bit of vertigo. I am very confused, as the tensor tympani is supposed to protect the inner ear, not harm it. It could be a case of TTTS, and my perception of lost hearing is only a result of the TT muscle stretching my eardrum too much, but I really do not know.

      Any thoughts about this? People with tensor tympani syndrome, are you up for comment?
       
    2. Sen
      Caffeine

      Sen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October, 2012.
      I've always been able to, I remember doing it as a kid.
       
      Last edited: Nov 2, 2016
      • Like Like x 1
    3. Coyotesheaven
      Depressed

      Coyotesheaven Member

      Location:
      Utah
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/18/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma, Dysautonomia/Vascular
      @Sen

      Does it hurt your ear to do this? Do you notice a T spike afterward?
       
    4. Irish

      Irish Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music from nightclub
      I've always been able to do this as well, but only recently realised what it was that I was doing.
      In an effort to try and improve my eustachian tube issues, last month I began doing this every day almost like daily exercises, after seeing a guy online who claimed to have cured his Patulous Eustachian Tube condition by doing this.
      I had to stop doing it after a week or so as I noticed it was actually making things worse, I began to develop more 'clicking' and also an unpleasant semi-permanant pressure inside my eustachian tubes and my H and ear pain seemed to get worse as well too, so I figured it was time to stop!
      Now a few weeks after I've stopped, thankfully things seem to be returning roughly to where they were before I began doing these contraction exercises of the TT muscles.
       
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    5. Sen
      Caffeine

      Sen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October, 2012.
      It doesn't cause a T spike, but it does make me dizzy and cause a very, very mild soreness. More like discomfort than soreness.
       
    6. Coyotesheaven
      Depressed

      Coyotesheaven Member

      Location:
      Utah
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/18/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma, Dysautonomia/Vascular
      @Irish

      Hmm, interesting. I wonder why someone would recommend it for eustachian tube problems. Did you have any T spikes as a result or changes in hearing?

      I've been doing this maneuver my whole life, short-term wise (a few seconds) to avoid loud noises. Never had a problem until a few months ago. I'm just wondering whether it could actually be damaging. Ear pain could obviously occur given that the tensor tympani stretches (sorta indirectly) the eardrum, and hyperacusis can be caused by an abnormally functioning TT.

      But the ear pressure thing is strange. There must be another muscle involved (tensor vali palatini?) that would lead to effects in the middle ear/eustachian tube. I'm wondering if I am having the same phenomenon occur. Perhaps elevated middle ear pressure?
       
    7. Irish

      Irish Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music from nightclub
    8. Irish

      Irish Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music from nightclub
      Not sure if my hearing was affected, perhaps slightly.
      Yes 'elevated middle ear pressure' is a good description of what it felt like.
      The exercise itself did not cause pain at the time, but the daily low level ear pain I already experience, seemed to become more pronounced during the days I was doing the exercise and for perhaps a week or two afterwards too.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    9. stophiss

      stophiss Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      too full a life
      Hi CH,
      Since I was a little kid, I have always been able to wiggle my ears. I can also voluntarily tension my eardrums without wiggling my ears which changes the tone of my tinnitus...pitch/tonal change oddly is more prevalent in my right ear FWIW when my tinnitus is typically louder in the left ear. Tensioning my ear drums changes the pitch of my tinnitus...brings in lower tones..and a rather odd harmonic so weird, I can't describe it...many frequencies intersperced.

      I don't know much about this subject or if it means I have a particular type of tinnitus. If somebody knows based upon my explanation, please explain if you would. To my knowledge, I don't have Menieres...I do have mild to moderate H which doesn't affect my life other than I don't like loud noises and my T resembles a high pitch hiss that varies in volume day in and day out...more predominant in my left ear but also in my right ear to a lessor degree.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    10. japongus

      japongus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Voluntary tensor tympani movement may be a myth in that I asked lib from chat-h, who got a tenotomy and she can still hear the rumble. She may have been answering to the other question I put to her, which was whether she could still feel eardrum movement. But the rumble we all get from yawning or force blinking, there's a large possibility it's something else.
       

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